Thank you very much for posting your incredibly detailed instructions and suggestions. I was bummed for a while now because I thought I couldn't upgrade my XPS 8500's GPU.
You sir, have shown me the light.
I bought the same parts you installed and upgraded the BIOS whilst waiting for the items to arrive.
Again, thank you.
FYI Seasonic has a S12G series of power supplies, which include 450w - 550w - 650w - 750w versions. All are about 5.5" long (same as the stock Dell power supply).
Bad news is these are not modular, but they easily fit in the space of the stock supply without hitting the USB / headphone ports on the top. I put the 550w into a XPS 8700 with a GTX 960, so far so good.
165MM is 6.5 inches
CORSAIR CSM Series CS750M 750W
ATX12V v2.4 and EPS 2.92 80 PLUS GOLD
Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
5.9" x 3.39" x 5.51"
Which specific evga gtx 970 is that? Is it the superclicked acx 2.0 (04G-P4-2974-KR), or is it the the 04G-P4-1972-KR? They have 9 different 970s...
I want to do the exact same setup as you with no problems. Many thanks
Whoops! You were right! I named the wrong one in my initial post. I really used Model numbe(04G-P4-1972-KR) -- which only has one fan.
Given the pace of innovation, there is probably a slightly newer version of that card.
For sizing it was:
And it is the style that uses a single fan to pull air in from the case and vent out the back of the card to increase case airflow.
The Short Looks like a 960 02G-P4-2962-KR
I happened to have the box near me. Definitely an 04G-P4-1972 KR.
You were the first to catch the error, so I updated my post. I snapped this picture from the box:
Thanks for pointing that out and asking.
The various models seem to be VERY VERY VERY Picky about which ones work or not.
Thats why I wanted to nail that down.
In older dells like Precision T3400 BIOS A09 I've used an EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SuperSC ACX 2.0+ 2GB GDDR5 128bit, 02G-P4-2966-KR
Can you please tell me if you had to upgrade your PSU before upgrading your GPU?
I am really wanting to play Fallout 4 and the GPU you put in looks right for my 8500. However, if I'm going to have to get a new PSU I will probably just save up and build a new system. I want to play Witcher 3 and I'm not sure if the 970 can handle it or not.
But then I guess I can always buy a really nice PSU and just take it with me when I build a new system. You got the new PSU in w/o any major problems?
I must say you did a nice job on everything. Plus it is all clean and shiny. I guess I need to blow mine out.
Another question: Do you know what kind of memory the 8500 takes? I have 8 Gigs of ram in 2 banks leaving 1 slot free in each bank - so each ram is 4 gigs. Can I slap in another for a total of 16 gigs? IF it is not to much money and the system can handle it I can't see a reason not to.
It depends on your definition of "had to upgrade".
You absolutely should upgrade your PSU.
But... what if you don't? The upgrade might work for a while at the risk of damaging your motherboard, overheating the card for games that tax the CPU/GPU, game freezes, spontaneous reboots, and shortening the life of your PC Hardware. That also assumes that your case has the appropriate power connections for the card. It's a really bad idea.
Let's ask a better question -- Do I need a super-expensive PSU? That answer is no.
Sure, we all love our Bronze, Silver or Gold Certified PSU's... but you don't have to break the bank. I picked up a $70 Bronze because I wanted 750watts. I have 4 hard drives jammed in my case (don't ask how), but I could have gotten an even less expensive PSU.
You may not even require the 80+ efficiency Bronze certification, or be as picky about limiting your search to reviews with at least a 4.5/5 or more than 30 reviews. If the $69 cost is too high, you could probably find a cheaper PSU.
All ATX Power Supplies have about the same Height and width (150mm or 5.09" wide) and (86mm or 3.38" high). The problem is the Depth. How deep into your PC can it reach (extending towards the back side of your CD/DVD).
I did some measurements, and realized that the MAX PSU depth that would work would be about 165mm or about 6.5". That's tricky because I wanted a 750w plus power supply, and its REALLY, REALLY hard to find a good power supply under with less than (180mm / 7.09"). And, that wouldn't fit.
About a year ago, I scoured every 700+ Watt, 80+ certified PSU carried by Newegg (as of 12/1/2014). Then, I cross checked the newegg specs for each prospect with the manufacter's website for verification. I only focused on PSU's with at least 8 reviews, and then only if they averaged a 3.5 rating (unless the low ratings were for frivolous things like rebates).
After looking up the specs on over 200 PSU's (over a 5 hour period), I only came up with 5 potentials:
So... although I recommend that you upgrade your PSU... you can still do it for less than $75. And, you can probably even go lower than that. Just be sure to check the manufacture's website for the official dimensions to make sure the 3rd dimension is less than 165mm or about 6.5". The other two dimensions will always be (150mm or 5.09" wide) and (86mm or 3.38" high).
There are websites to calculate how much power you really need. Depending on the card you select, you might be able to get by with a 650watt or 700watt. (The hard part was finding a 750watt that fit!)